I’m a fan of the Topaz Labs family of Photoshop plug-ins. Perhaps the most outrageous Topaz filter is Spicify, in their Adjust package. It boosts color, saturation, and fine detail. We previously showed the filter applied to a marine landscape. I recently tried the filter on a lifeless beach scene, with good results. The filter most often takes an image to bizarre over-the-top colors, but I think it often works for beach scenes.
Photography is supposed to teach one to be a keen observer. I was embarrassed to have have taken the picture of Onekahakaha Beach, below, and not to have noticed the turtle at the time. Viewing the world through a wide angle lens discourages looking for smaller features of the broad vista. Putting the pictures through Photoshop ® I finally noticed the sea beast in repose. In some respects being on the spot is better than looking at a photo, but not in every respect.
I had a couple of hours to spare in San Francisco earlier this month, so I walked around Chinatown with my camera. I wanted to show Chinatown as part of San Francisco. The city’s iconic Transamerica Pyramid is a few blocks from Chinatown, so I took a view looking towards the Bay. I did a little touchup in Photoshop, but the picture is mostly about pointing the camera.
One of the few places to park around lunchtime in Santa Barbara is out on the pier. Parking is free while eating at The Harbor Restaurant, so we made the best of it. While waiting for my lobster pot pie, I took pictures of harbor traffic, including one of a ship named the Ocean Rose. Looking at the pictures later on, I could see large bags of something on the deck. What’s in them?
Back in the days of CRTs, screensavers were ever-changing images needed to prevent a pattern from being burned into the display phosphors. Modern flat screen displays don’t have that problem. Instead, we use background images to make the computer desktop more interesting. Here I have posted ten scenic images from California and Hawaii. Each is sized for a 1920 × 1200 pixel screen. These days, most computers will automatically adjust it to fit the screen to which the image is applied.
Cameras built into cellphones have improved substantially. My Droid X phone captures 8 megapixel images through it’s tiny lens. Since I almost always carry a pocket camera I haven’t used the cellphone camera very much, but recently I decided to give it a try. One advantage of the cellphone camera is that the pictures can be sent out as e-mail directly from the spot where you took the picture. We’ve all seen the blurry products of those attempts, but it seems the problem is not always with the camera. In good light, they can take respectable pictures.
My wife wonders why I keep take photos when we revisit places we have been to many times. I do have a certain number of photos that an insensitive person might claim are essentially the same.. However, many things change: the lighting, the clouds, the wind and fog, the seasons, the tides and the surf, the people, and human constructions. As you get old, you even start to notice the trees have grown and some have died and gone away, and the dunes shift and cliffs erode. And there are changing animals, birds, and plants. A case in point, recently, was a display of seaweed at Point Lobos.
Daffodil Hill is a private ranch in the California mountains near the town of Volcano, roughly two-and-half hours drive from the San Francisco area. (No, there is no volcano.) The McLaughlin family that’s owned the ranch since the 1880’s likes daffodils. They have about 300,000 bulbs, which is how I know they like daffodils, and they open the ranch to the public from late March through mid-April. If you want to photograph daffodils, this place is it.
When you travel somewhere, try to take a photo that sums up what the place was really like. The challenge is more difficult than it seems. If you are a photo enthusiast like me, you will probably take lots of photos taking in scenic views, unusual objects, and small slices of the life of the place. Collectively, the photos document the place. The challenge is to get one photo that captures much of the feeling of being there. Here is my attempt at Del Valle Regional Park, built around a reservoir south of Livermore, California.
According to bridgehunter.com I was photographing a through-truss bridge over the East Branch Delaware River on Fish Eddy-Sullivan Road, in Delaware County, New York. I didn’t know that at the time, of course, although perhaps I should have. I discovered that bridgehunter.com is a good way to find interesting subjects of the bridge species and to later understand what I’ve photographed.
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